Concept of cultural trade mission is “to be repeated”

The cultural trade mission to China and Japan is over, and the balance is for the Flemish minister of Culture Sven Gatz, “very successful”, because there are concrete results. “It was the first cultural mission and that is to be repeated,” says Gatz during a round-up in Beijing. A possible option for a next spot where Flemish cultural actors can visit to establish contacts and to be inspired, it would be Latin America, he suggests.

The purpose of the trip was to strengthen relationships; it then goes to contacts to strengthen, but also about contracts. For example, there is the contract that nyckelharpaspeler (violin with piano) Didier François was the last day of the mission with a major Chinese talent agency.

“There are concrete things, we are satisfied,” says Sven Gatz on the last day of the cultural trade mission, which is Saturday in Tokyo began Friday in Beijing ended. He lists the highlights: “Additional translations of our authors to the Japanese are coming. There is a residentieplek for our artists arrived in Tokyo. A co-production for youth theatre Flanders-Japan is in the making. The project of the Jommekefilm in China is underway. We worked on the collaboration between the Flemish company and a Chinese production company around a Chinese fiction series ‘Mr. Right, three episodes in Antwerp, belgium, are recorded, and tourists to Antwerp can lure, because that range is by 300 people viewed by one billion people streamed. Chinese and Flemish schools in the Fine Arts will work together. There is today a cooperation agreement signed.” It comes to the PXL-MAD School in Hasselt that a collaboration start-up with the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. “The next few months there will probably be more,” predicts Gatz yet.

It was the first cultural trade mission, according to a new model. Minister Gatz explains what the difference is with the past: “Someone from the administration, whether or not with a minister, went on the spot to explore, and then could then make contacts. Now these contacts are pre-prepared and in-situ depth. That is a much more thorough way of working and I think that this is definitely a good model for the future. This is worth repeating. We can do this in the first instance, within Europe or in certain European cities to develop. For a new cultural trade mission, a decision, although of the new Flemish minister for Culture, I think that Latin America could be interesting, because there happen a lot of interesting things in the performing arts,” concludes minister Gatz.

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